Greetings from Louisiana rice country! This year, the blog will concentrate research conducted at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, in addition to showing the progress of a 6-acre field of rice planted March 19 to produce foundation seed. We encourage your comments and thoughts to help improve this online tool. If you would like a photograph of a particular piece of equipment or a better explanation of a process, let us know.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen sleet in South Louisiana. But who would have expected frozen precipitation in April? But that’s exactly what happened April 7. Fortunately, the temperatures didn’t get low enough to result in frost.
As expected after passage of a strong cold front, the south wind that came by April 13 was intense. Larry White, manager of the seed program at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, said the cold and wind combined had a definite impact on the young rice plants.
Here’s a rice plant from the field being monitored in this blog.

Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, said young rice plants can be protected from a frost or freeze with an insulating layer of water.
Saichuk additionally shared his thoughts on the impacts of the cold in his weekly field notes:

Will the yellowed plants affect the harvest with lower yields? “That’s a long time from now,” Larry White said.
He said the DD50 computer program for projecting a rice crop’s timetable indicates that this field should be harvested by July 23, about a week sooner than most harvests at the station. But the earlier planting moved the harvest back.

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